Europe Provides Cleaning Preview

The 10th edition of Stuttgart’s parts2clean show provided a close look at what lies ahead for the U.S. cleaning market.

Case Study From: 1/22/2013 Production Machining, ,

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Drag Finishing

Otec Precision Finish, a manufacturer of precision finishing systems, had on display its DF-3 drag finishing machine. With angled rotating toolholders that are independently driven, the DF series is specifically designed for tool manufacturers. But the company supplies several other lines of deburring and finishing systems. The CF series of disc finishing machines is designed for economical surface treatment of small turned, milled and stamped parts.

Ultrasonics

Weber Ultrasonics, manufacturer of system components such as ultrasound generators and transducers, saw the show as an ideal networking assembly. “You have the opportunity of meeting here with numerous partners, exchanging ideas and supporting each other mutually,” says Nathalie Etienne, director of marketing and communication at Weber Ultrasonics GmbH. “We took advantage of this successfully this year and met with companies from Germany, elsewhere in Europe, Malaysia and India.”

Closed-Loop

The Safechem closed-loop solvent handling system could be spotted in various places throughout the show floor, integrated into a number of cleaning systems. The system is designed to reduce the risk of solvent handling in industrial metal cleaning and degreasing operations. It allows operators to take advantage of the high performance cleaning of chlorinated solvents while limiting exposure and the potential of spills or emissions into the environment. Steffen Säcker, business manager at Safechem Europe GmbH, notes a trend toward increasing interest in cleaning with solvents. “A solvent renaissance appears to be taking place in many applications which demand high quality, precision cleaning,” he says.

Eco Clean

Showing a contrast in size, Rosink displayed its Eco cleaning system inside of its large front-loader, the RFL 2000. The Eco is designed for 40-percent reduction in energy usage with a height-adjustable drying system that uses an inline heater in combination with compressed air. The stainless steel housing is fully insulated, and the plastic lid provides reduced weight as well as good thermal insulation.

Modular

In addition to its Elmasonic X-tra pro modular ultrasonic cleaning system, Elma also displayed its Elmasonic S ultrasonic table-top units. These portable units are available in 13 different sizes ranging from 0.8 to 90 liters, making them suitable for a variety of small-lot applications.

Press Conference

To kick off the show, a press conference featured a panel of speakers that included Olaf Daebler (Deutsche Messe AG), Martin Bilz (Fraunhofer Network for Cleaning Technology), Dr. Markus Rochowicz (Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering), Hartmut Herdin (fairXperts GmbH), and Professor Dr. Lothar Schulze (SITA Messtechnik GmbH). One discussion in-volved the transition of the show from fairXperts to Deutsche Messe AG, as Mr. Daebler presented plans to continue to grow the show beyond 5,000 attendees. suggested the possibility of duplicating the show in other countries as well.

Expert Forums

The show included a series of expert forum sessions that were held each day in the heart of the show floor and included English translations. More than 25 presentations addressed specific topics related to efficiency and costs in the field of cleaning technology, exemplary process solutions, cleaning analytics methods and systems, special processes, corrosion protection and cleaning agents, and revisions to VDA 19.

When it comes to cleaning technology, we in the U.S. can often learn a lot by examining the trends and new developments in the European market. After all, European manufacturers have long viewed cleaning as a significant part of the production process, rather than just a necessary evil. And although regulations in the U.S. for chemical usage and waste disposal are continuing to grow more strict, they are being guided by the example of those set in Europe.

Last year’s parts2clean show in Stuttgart, Germany (an international trade fair for industrial parts and surface cleaning held October 23-25, 2012), helped to confirm this notion as 230 exhibitors from 16 countries highlighted their latest technology. Almost 4,400 visitors from 39 countries traveled to the show seeking specific answers to real cleaning issues they face on the shop floor every day. The show was a good opportunity to network exhibitors with visitors in an environment that promoted brainstorming discussions, targeting the appropriate products and services for specific applications.

With clear signs that business is on the rise for manufacturers in the U.S., and as new orders come in, this is a good time for companies to re-evaluate current technologies and processes with an eye towards strengthening and building for the future. The International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in September 2012 gave attendees an opportunity to review all aspects of manufacturing and to learn more about ways to improve their businesses from top to bottom. More focused shows such as parts2clean allow visitors to zero in on a specific technology that may need more attention.

For those who were not able to attend, we have assembled some highlights from the parts2clean show here. And there’s yet another opportunity right around the corner (April 16-18) to continue research on cleaning requirements. Once again, this year’s Precision Machining Technology Show (PMTS 2013) will feature a Cleaning Pavilion, as well as the Parts Cleaning Expo (PCx), an extended series of conference sessions covering everything from fundamentals of cleaning to the environmental rules and regulations coming down the pipeline.

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